CHICAGO – One of the interesting All-Star Break storylines for the Bulls was their pursuit of a nine-time All-Star and former MVP guard to the mix for the rest of the season.

In the end, however, Russell Westbrook will be staying in Los Angeles.

Per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the guard has decided to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers after he was officially given a buyout by the Jazz. Westbrook was traded to Utah by the Lakers just before the NBA Trade Deadline on February 9.

The Bulls had spoken to Westbrook and his agent about possibly having the guard finish the season in Chicago and help the team try to qualify for the playoffs for a second-straight year. But now he will join the Clippers, who are currently fourth in the Western Conference with a 33-28 record.

After starting 78 games with the Lakers in the 2021-2022 season, Westbrook was mostly in a reserve role in Los Angeles this year. He started only three of the 52 games he played in, averaging 15.9 points 7.5 assists, and 6.2 rebounds in an average of 28.7 minutes per contest.

Arturas Karnosovas could opt to sign another free agent guard like John Wall or Patrick Beverley, each of whom was bought out of their contracts after trades. If not, the Bulls will move forward with a group that wasn’t improved at the trade deadline and has struggled the last two weeks.

Currently, the Bulls are two games out of the last play-in spot in the Eastern Conference, having lost their last six games heading into the All-Star Break. Billy Donovan’s group returns to the floor on Friday night to face the Nets at the United Center at 7 p.m.